5 February 2017, in addition to being Super Bowl Sunday, is the 20th anniversary of the day I wrote a letter to my boss telling him of my intention to retire as soon as it was practical for the company. There is nothing special about 7 March. I gave them 30 days notice, and for the benefit of the folks in Payroll, it was the last day in a pay period. Sanders Associates was one of the top tier electronic warfare companies in the country. In several niches they were unchallenged. Subsequent to my departure, they were purchased by Lockheed only to be later sold to BAE Systems. It is BAE, therefore, who sends me a monthly truncated retirement check. The truncation refers to the fact that I retired on my 58th birthday. Yes, on Super Bowl Sunday I will be 78.
I am including below a transcription of that letter which I still have. I won't explain the technical references because my perceptive readers will get the drift.
On this, my 58th birthday, I wish to officially announce my intention to retire from Sanders effective 7 Mar 97.
It has been a great career with a wonderful assortment of challenges and opportunities, accomplishments and disappointments, and fine organizations to give to and draw from. When I started, a two-state logic device was a 12AX7 twin triode configured as an Eccles-Jordan multivibrator that ran on 220VDC and drew 150 ma of filament current. Today there are a million functional equivalents on a single chip. My work has taken me from Fort Yukon to Islamabad, from Big Spring to Colorado Springs, from Dayton to Syosset, and from Oklahoma to New Hampshire. It has ranged from audio to lasers, from student to teacher, and from field engineer to General Manager.
It has been a great ride. Along the way I have worked with hundreds of folks who have become, and will remain, good friends for life. Many of these people are Sanders people. I have worked at Sanders twice, and it was the caliber of its people that brought me back.
Because of Sanders' generosity (as well as that of Mr. Dow and Mr. Jones) I am fortunate enough to be able to retire well before the age of 65. I look forward to attacking a large backlog of deferred projects. I leave with good feelings and best wishes. I hope I have helped.
I did not want to be overly nostalgic, but it was a milestone and I thought that some of you might enjoy the letter.